Friday, June 23, 2017

MEXICAN CHILI FUNERAL PARTY
-MEXICAN WARRIORS' REVENGE-
What Just Happened?
As if the band name wasn't enigmatic enough, they are from Monza Italy (of course).  While I am claiming this as a stoner rock album, it really tries hard to defy categorization, with punk rock, traditional rock and just a hint of heavy metal fused together into one unique masterpiece.  I have to believe that these guys listened to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age, as well as the Desert Sessions albums, but these references are only a hint at what to expect ("Waiting For The Sun" makes me think of The Doors for a bit).

Here is the lead-off track, "Vespucci".  


Now check out "11":

True Story:  I had just found this band and purchased their 2014 self-titled album on Bandcamp in January, then got an e-mail in February saying that they had a new album out.  I liked the first one so much that I bought "Mexican Warriors" on principle.  It has taken me this long to figure out that I really like the album.  There is so much diversity here that it really took quite a few listens for me to develop an ear for what MCFP is trying to do.  

When you're ready:  Mexican Warriors' Revenge here.

If you haven't noticed, I have a soft spot for oddball heavy rock, and Mexican Chili Funeral Party scratches my itch for something different in a big way.  These guys are top-notch musicians with big ideas, and I hope you will give this album several listens.  
I will be back next weekend with a "smorgasbord" post; in the meantime, celebrate the death of Mexican Chili   -ULTRA

LOTD! Astray Valley - Singularity



For a first listen, I'm quite impressed with this single. I randomly came across this track today as I was planning on checking out some new Death Metal on band camp. This isn't really death metal. It's more in the style of bands like Killswitch Engage and earlier All That Remains. It's a real nice combination of gothenburg influences mixed with some modern hardcore signature rhythms. The band hails from Spain and has a female vocalist who can really slay. Great production, heavy chugs, clean/harsh vocals and overall quality music.

I was so impressed I checked out their 2015 album, Dystopia and damn they really have it going on.
Just check out the breakdown on the track - "Conscience, The Architect"

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

LOTD! Isaurian - All the Darkness Looks Alive




Jesu worship from Brazil, where do I sign up? That's right this band not only touches upon some of the signatures of Jesu but they also remix one of their tracks with Jesu on this EP. It is quite funny that their take on this style does bring to mind how much Type O Negative's later albums closely relate to this shoe gazer style metal in ways I've never noticed before. If you're a fan of Jesu, Godflesh or even Type O, check out Isaurian.

Grownman's Fast Finds

Grownman's back in the saddle for another session of the Fast Finds. Short on time, heavy on metal. Strap in for the ride.



Put On Your Rosy Red Glasses - The Number Twelve Looks Like You
This is one hell of spazzed fuck fest of a listen. Not for the faint of heart. (Rerelease of the band's debut album)


Oathbearer - Fellwarden
Folklorish and Atmospheric Black Metal is right down my alley. This is an incredible introduction into a band that really knows the ins and outs of the genre. If you like a great ride of emotions from hellish despair to the supremely spacious in it's expanse on the audible senses, you need to look no further than this album.


Blood Offerings - Necrot
I'm loving the bouncing groove and galloping percussion on Blood Offerings.
The band hails from Cali but sounds like it would fit in with the great Floridian death metal bands too. This is high quality, clean output Death Metal. I already feel the pain in my neck I'm gonna feel tomorrow from head banging so hard to this shit. Another solid release off of TANKCRIMES.


Cracks and Lines - Egypt
Egypt back at it again with that seventies sounding, high as hell, dessert doom. Cracks and Lines is the first listen off the album. It's a standard groove that hits pretty much all of the notes of the genre. It sways and shimmys in areas while the tortured vocals of Aaron Esterby serve as a reminder that you shouldn't have ate the brown acid. Please don't eat the brown acid.


Dead Cross - Dead Cross
Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo.....take my money.






Monday, June 19, 2017

A Headbanger's Retrospective - GOD LIVES UNDERWATER's EMPTY

A Headbanger's Retrospective
Looking back at a first listen - God Lives Underwater - EMPTY


It was a late Sunday afternoon in October many years ago that I first had the opportunity to hear God Lives Underwater's album EMPTY. It sticks with me for several reasons. I was working at the time in a really shitty job as a furniture inspector. Getting up at suck-a-clock in the morning to run my hands beneath the surface of sofas and break up arguments between two retired ladies who had differing opinions on how to call out minor nicks on wooden furniture reminded me daily of how fucked up my job situation was. After all, I had an art degree that was gaining as much dust upon it as the clearance furniture in the back of the chips and dents room in that said furniture store.

Cut to that Sunday where I told my manager that I was gifted a ticket to a convention (HP LOVECRAFT Convention) in Salem and that I really needed to leave my Sunday shift early to head up there in a timely manner. Sunday was the day we'd sit in the office fending off calls from customers about how the delivery dude tore the molding off their front entry while carrying in a brand new armoire. Yeah, I had much better things to do that day. As my buddy Craig pulled up to my house, I handed him a copy of Six Feet Under's first Graveyard Classics. We spent the next hour laughing at and sometimes head banging to that album. I'm sure there were several cds between all four of us that we tossed into my friends stereo that day but not much comes to mind now, except one.

After a full day of rabble rousing with fellow Lovecraft fans (and stealing a wool hat from a dude who wouldn't give me the time of day because he was filming a commercial and I couldn't be late for the convention...another story entirely), my pal Tom handed over God Lives Underwater's EMPTY from the back seat. He let me check out the cover which had really peaked my interest. The cover depicted a photo of a statue of Jesus with arms stretched out submerged under water. The band's sound was really unique. With a mix of industrial riffage, vocals that ranged from early Mike Patton'esque spaz to a Trent Reznor'esque snear and digital bleeps, God Lives Underwater really put together a sound of their own. As my buddy Vampyre Mike would call it, God Lives Underwater were of the "Light Industrial" genre. The second track "ALL WRONG" really hooked me in. The vibe reminded me of Stabbing Westward which I was really into at the time. As the album played out Empty became an essential soundtrack for a long ride that included passing ancient cemeteries situated along the side of the road as we headed out of town. As the hue of late afternoon faded into night, that first memory of listening to EMPTY would forever cement itself as the perfect bookend to a great day hanging out with friends who were all into the same underground horror fiction and music. If you haven't checked it out, do so. Being that the band is long gone with only a few albums to their credit, it shouldn't be hard to pick up their catalogue and enjoy it for yourself.

Make sure to also "Like, Share and Subscribe" to my pal Vampyre Mike's Youtube channel. Here is his own retrospective on God Lives Underwater.

Friday, June 16, 2017

CONTENDERS

Here's some new shit coming down the pike this summer

And when I say "shit" I mean contenders for best album of the year.  

New Midnight Ghost Train debuts on July 28th.  Here is the first released track, "Red-Eyed Junkie Queen":

New Queens Of The Stone Age is slated for August 25th.  
Here is "The Way You Used To Do":
Haven't heard any more than this from these upcoming albums, but am expecting a lot from both of them.  Time will tell, and so will I when the time comes.  

 Back next weekend.  Until then, "help Woodsy spread the word.. don't be a dirty bird. In the city or in the woods, help keep America (help keep America) looking good.  Hoot Hoot!!"
-ULTRA

Saturday, June 10, 2017

ELDER: Reflections Of A Floating World
Greatest Massachusetts Rock Band Of All Time?
There have been a lot of great rock bands that have come from my state: some of the most famous include The J. Geils Band, The Cars, Billy Squier and of course the one and only Aerosmith.  While Elder will never have as many radio plays as any of these bands, when it comes to songwriting complexity and creativity, none of them can touch Elder.  "Reflections Of A Floating World" marks another chapter in a story of true greatness.  Elder began their career being labeled as a doom/stoner band but have progressed into something far more complex and unique.  Over their last five releases (including the "Spires Burn" EP), the average track length is 10 minutes and 24 seconds.  Each of these lengthy tunes contains a myriad of memorable moments, and grooves that you wish would keep going, until you are distracted by a smooth transition into some other tasteful musical passage.  Funny how in the midst of an already long tune you can find a part you wish would go on longer, but this is how listening to Elder is for me. 

How to pick just two?  I am going with track 3, entitled "Staving Off Truth" for starters, for it's sweet transition from mellow to heavy around a minute or so in, and for the multitude of those moments I attempted to describe above. 


Next I am going with  track 4, "Blind," for its unique intro and all the subtleties  that ensue.  Jack Donovan's bass playing is reminiscent of  Tool's Justin Chancellor for a bit near the end of this one.  The bass playing throughout this album caught my attention right away.  Jack has always been great, but is extra tasteful on Reflections of a Floating World.


Elder is:
Nicholas DiSalvo - Guitar, keys, vocals 
Jack Donovan - Bass 
Matt Couto - Drums 
Michael Risberg - Guitar 
Michael Samos - Pedal steel
Join 872 other people to date who have picked this album up for a mere $7 on Bandcamp, here.

I am sticking with my claim that Elder is the best Bay State band ever, and are in the stratosphere of rock bands no matter what geographic boundaries you'd like to consider.  If you are already an Elder fan, you probably needed to download this on June 2nd when it was released and haven't stopped playing it since.  If you are new to the band or have just been a casual listener, I hope this is the album that will get you on the bandwagon.  Something else next weekend for sure, and until then make sure to keep it heavy.  Over and out  -ULTRA


Heavy Metal Textbooks makes Top 100 Metal sites on the Planet (according to feed spot)

Thanks to all who've contributed to the success of this blog over the past few years. It's always great to be acknowledged for the work you put into a project. Thanks to Feed Spot for selecting our site at #88 in their top 100.

http://blog.feedspot.com/metal_music_blogs/

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MONSTERPIECE THEATER, Volume 2
DEATH ANGEL: Act III

The video for "Seemingly Endless Time" was my first introduction to Death Angel back in 1990, and I soon owned this as well as their previous two releases, "Ultra-Violence" and "Frolic Through The Park".  Act III expanded my metal horizons a bit, and  to this day I consider Act III of my favorite metal albums, period.  I maintain that Rob Cavestany has created some of the most tasteful solos in the history of heavy metal. My introduction to Death Angel, on MTV "back in the day"; sound quality not the best, but the tune certainly is:
Here's the absolutely seething "Disturbing the Peace", with a simply awesome opener and truly inventive song development while maintaining a raw aggressiveness the whole way through:


"Discontinued" has the band showing off their musical prowess.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers had just released "Mothers Milk", which had a lot of folks thinking they were as talented a rock band as had ever been.  Dennis Pepa shows he can do what Flea does, and the whole band really flexes their muscles with some inventive songwriting here; can you say "tight"?
Now here is the album finisher, "Falling Asleep" with a disturbing take on "Rockabye Baby".  This band is so good, and "Act III" may still be their most masterfully produced.  I put my Megadeth and Metallica albums on the back burner for quite awhile when this album came out, and no tune symbolizes why more than this one:

I love every single tune on this album.  "Veil of Deception" is probably the heaviest acoustic tune there has ever been; I think any decent band could cover this tune and maintain its heaviness, which speaks to the quality of the songwriting.  "Room With A View" is another great with probably the highest commercial appeal on the album.  

Death Angel was formed in the San Francisco Bay area (home of Metallica), in the 1980's by four cousins, all of Filipino descent:

Rob Cavestany (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Dennis Pepa (bass and original lead vocalist)
Gus Pepa (rhythm guitar)
Andy Galeon (drums)
Mark Osegueda is on vocals for Act III as well as for every album the band has released.

I was in the mood for a metal post this weekend.  Hope it has brought back some fond memories for you.  I am adding Act III to my commuting playlist this week because it has rekindled a fire from my twenties.  I will return to posting something current next weekend; 2017 is proving to be a giant when it comes to Stoner Rock.  Until then!
-ULTRA

Friday, May 26, 2017

I Got Your 1970's Right Here
2017: 1970's Sympathizer
Check out these 1970's-inspired tunes, released in the current calendar year.  If you've got about 14 minutes, I've got three tunes that  if you close your eyes, will have you wearing your Foghat t-shirt and your knee-high tube socks before you can say WCOZ.  I am proud of the flow of this playlist, and hope you will hear it the way I do. 

70s Today from Ultra Sounds on Vimeo.
I have reviewed each of these bands within the last couple of months.  Hope you will spread the word on these awesome bands if you have not done so already.  
Over and out;  Back next weekend with some more stoner rock; until then, check out Grownman's posts; Over and out     -ULTRA